Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Sunday October 28, 2018

 3 PM Almonte Old Town Hall

Plan to attend the 13th Annual World Paddling Film Festival – an international film tour presenting a selection of the world’s best paddling films including kayaking, SUP and canoeing.  It takes place at the Almonte Old Town Hall on Sunday, October 28th at 3 PM.

https://www.paddlingfilmfestival.com/films/2018-film-selection.html

This celebration of adventure is a fundraiser for the Almonte Riverwalk Project, which will extend the scenic trails near the Mississippi River.

“We are so lucky to have a river in our town and I know that these films will appeal to many in our community and beyond,” says organizer Mary Lumsden of Mill Street Books. Along with co-sponsor Vamos Outdoors they are covering the cost of the film. Almonte will provide the venue and staff assistance so that all proceeds go directly to the project.

Co-sponsor Lisa Labonte of Vamos Outdoors feels this is a great event for her customers.  “We expect to attract paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts for a fun afternoon.”

The Paddling Film Festival World Tour is produced by Rapid Media and presented in Almonte on Sunday, October 28th, at 3:00 PM. For tickets ($15 for adults; $5 for children under 15) and further information, please contact Mill Street Books tel.  613-256-9090.

 

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Wednesday, September 5th at 2:30 PM

The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) are very pleased to announce the grand opening and dedication of the Mike McPhail Bird Viewing Shelter, located just west of Almonte, behind the Municipality of Mississippi Mills Waste Water Treatment plant.

This special project to create a new local birding facility was conceived, developed and built by the MVFN Birding Committee and many other construction-minded MVFN volunteers.  The viewing shelter is dedicated and named for the late Mike McPhail, a former President of MVFN and a tireless advocate for nature in our community.  The Mike McPhail Bird Viewing Shelter is located along the same path as the Al Potvin Observation Tower, which has been well used by birders from near and far for many years and overlooks the largest and westernmost of the decommissioned lagoons.

 

Bringing a big project from conception to completion involves a lot of planning and many steps.  Starting in the spring of 2017, the investigation of several designs and sizes and shapes of bird viewing shelters was undertaken, and a preliminary structural plan was designed by Michel Gauthier.  This was taken to Mississippi Mills municipal staff for review, and a request to build beside the lagoon on town property.  The project was approved unanimously by Council in the fall, and the necessary building permits were obtained.

A call was sent out to MVFN members for help with construction, and the response was amazing – 22 people signed up!  The first step was to level the ground, and spread gravel, which was done by Howard Robinson and his trusty tractor.  Because of the early onset of winter in mid-November, the cement support posts had to be formed and dried in Al Potvin’s heated garage.  Over the long winter months, volunteers calculated materials needed and arranged to purchase them from Home Hardware in Almonte.

Then the long wait for spring to arrive began, and the crew waited, and waited, then waited some more. Finally, we emerged from early spring to high summer weather, the ground was dry and firm, materials were ordered, and the eager volunteers finally began construction. There were many talented volunteer carpenters and apprentices, which kept the cost down significantly.  However, the “commanders-in-chief” had a knack for organizing work crews on the very hottest days of June!  In spite of the heat, however, the construction moved along quickly, and by early July, the shelter was complete.

And what a beautiful and sturdy shelter it is, with a perfect panoramic view of the lagoon and marsh areas.  Constructed of beautiful pine with a green metal roof, it can be seen off in the distance from Wolf Grove Road. Future plans include permanent signage along the path to the shelter and at the shelter, educational material inside, and natural landscaping around the shelter, which hopefully will attract even more wildlife.

The MVFN Board of Directors and members are delighted with the results of the tireless efforts of the co-managers and construction crews over the past year.  We are proud to offer the public birding community a unique place to visit, spring, summer and fall.  MVFN is also very grateful to the Municipality of Mississippi Mills for allowing the shelter to be built, for the help and support they offered throughout, and to Home Hardware for their expert advice.

Besides migrating waterfowl and shore birds at the lagoon, there are woodland birds along the path, and field birds which can be seen out from each side of the path.  To access the path, turn right off Wolf Grove Road to Concession #8.  The path is located a few hundred meters up Concession #8, across the road from the far end of the Auld Kirk Cemetery.  Parking is permitted on both shoulders of the road, except in front of the gate.  The rather hard-to-see entrance to the pathway is marked with a small yellow sign on the right.  Please respect the “Rules of Etiquette” on the path and in the shelter.

The Official Grand Opening and dedication of the MVFN Mike McPhail Bird Viewing Shelter will take place Wednesday, September 5 at 2:30 PM at the shelter. All are welcome to attend the ceremony. This also marks the start of four September Birding Open Houses taking place every Wednesday in September from 3 to 5 PM, when you will have an opportunity to speak to an MVFN bird expert who will have a scope ready for very close-up and personal views of the birds!  Bring your binoculars!  All summer, spring and fall, the Observation Tower and the Bird Viewing Shelter are open at any time for the public to walk in and view birds.

NOTE: Link to current E-bird checklist for this location is at https://ebird.org/canada/printableList?regionCode=L2327732&yr=all&m

For further information, please visit mvfn.ca or email inquiries to or 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We have a great spring trip planned!

May 18-25, 2018

Join MVFN on a Birding Tour of the Okanagan Valley, BC. Enjoy finding many Western birds including species more common to the Western plains, mountains and dessert such as the California quail, Prairie falcon and Bullock’s oriole. In addition, enjoy incredible scenery, excellent wine tasting and Western cuisine.

The tour will cover from Penticton to Osoyoos and surrounding areas.

This is an eight-day trip. It is designated easy activity.
Maximum number of participants for this tour is fourteen (14).
NOTE: Deadline for registering is February 28, 2018
Trip Leader:  MVFN Past President Cliff Bennett. Western leadership includes local guides and authorities.

Highlights of the tour will feature events of the annual Okanagan Valley Meadowlark Festival, a bike ride along the Kettle Valley Railway Trail, a kayak tour of Vaseux Lake plus many more surprises.

Details:

Cost: $3530 per person, includes:

-accommodations in 2 or 3-bedroom condominium apartments

-air fare from Ottawa to Penticton (WestJet)

-all ground transportation, driver and guide

-most meals as offered

-services of BC tour planner and local guides

Not included in this price:

-bar expenses and optional activities

-gratuities

-items of a personal nature

-Additional transportation due to any emergency (your insurance should cover that)

Registration:

If you are interested in joining MVFN on another very successful MVFN group outing, please send me an email indicating your interest and I will send you a full itinerary, an application form, waiver, plus other details. The deadline for registering is February 28, 2018. A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required by March 16, 2018, balance by April 20.

Note: Price is subject to change if we have fewer than 14 participants. Also, air fare could change by time of booking group rate. Any adjustments will be made at the end of the tour.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Cliff Bennett
613-798-6295

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Joel Byrne has bequeathed his beautiful 100-acre “Big Creek” property, near McDonald’s Corners, to the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust!

In this act, Joel fulfilled his dream of protecting “forever”, this special wild place he knew would continue to touch the deepest needs of future generations.

Joel was a long-time member of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists and the Macnamara Field Naturalists as well as a strong supporter of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT). Joel passed away suddenly in 2016.

Help the MMLT preserve Joel Byrne’s “Big Creek” property forever

It is a significant responsibility to take on the legal and financial obligations that protecting Joel’s Big Creek property “forever” entails.  MMLT cannot do this alone.  It will take $48,500 to complete the acquisition and to pay for long term stewardship.  They need your help.

The MMLT is launching a campaign to raise the required funds starting on Nov 28, “Giving Tuesday”.  The MMLT hopes that all those who care about the preservation of wilderness in eastern Ontario will consider helping to achieve the fundraising goal by participating in a series of campaign fundraising events, including the celebratory Kick Off Pub Night Event for the “Byrne Big Creek Nature Preserve” Campaign at the Barley Mow, Almonte on Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017.

You can also help by visiting the MMLT Big Creek Campaign on the MMLT website and donating generously.

Through the generosity of MMLT supporter, Irene’s Pub in Ottawa, every donation made to the fund by November 30 will be matched up to $5,000.  Yes, your donation will be doubled!

Kick Off Pub Night Event for the “Byrne Big Creek Nature Preserve” Campaign :

Come and celebrate Joel Byrne and his generous gift of his “Big Creek” property with haiku, games and fun with friends during an evening at the Barley Mow.  A cover charge of $10 will go towards the campaign to create the “Byrne Big Creek Nature Preserve”.

With your support Joel’s 100-acre property “Big Creek” will become a haven for wildlife and nature lovers for generations to come. This is the first of a series of campaign fundraising events taking place until the fundraising goal is reached.

Details:  Wednesday, November 29, 2017 / 7 PM to 10 PM / Barley Mow (79 Little Bridge Street) in Almonte, ON 

 

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Joel Byrne has bequeathed his beautiful 100-acre “Big Creek” property, near McDonald’s Corners, to the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust!

 

In this act, Joel fulfilled his dream of protecting “forever”, this special wild place he knew would continue to touch the deepest needs of future generations.

Joel was a long-time member of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists and the Macnamara Field Naturalists as well as a strong supporter of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT). Joel passed away suddenly in 2016.

Help the MMLT preserve Joel Byrne’s “Big Creek” property forever

It is a significant responsibility to take on the legal and financial obligations that protecting Joel’s Big Creek property “forever” entails.  MMLT cannot do this alone.  It will take $48,500 to complete the acquisition and to pay for long term stewardship.  They need your help.

The MMLT is launching a campaign to raise the required funds starting on Nov 28, “Giving Tuesday”.  The MMLT hopes that all those who care about the preservation of wilderness in eastern Ontario will consider helping to achieve the fundraising goal by participating in a series of campaign fundraising events, including the celebratory Kick Off Pub Night Event for the “Byrne Big Creek Nature Preserve” Campaign at the Barley Mow, Almonte on Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017.

You can also help by visiting the MMLT Big Creek Campaign on the MMLT website and donating generously.

Through the generosity of MMLT supporter, Irene’s Pub in Ottawa, every donation made to the fund by November 30 will be matched up to $5,000.  Yes, your donation will be doubled!

Kick Off Pub Night Event for the “Byrne Big Creek Nature Preserve” Campaign :

Come and celebrate Joel Byrne and his generous gift of his “Big Creek” property with haiku, games and fun with friends during an evening at the Barley Mow.  A cover charge of $10 will go towards the campaign to create the “Byrne Big Creek Nature Preserve”.

With your support Joel’s 100-acre property “Big Creek” will become a haven for wildlife and nature lovers for generations to come. This is the first of a series of campaign fundraising events taking place until the fundraising goal is reached.

Details:  Wednesday, November 29, 2017 / 7 PM to 10 PM / Barley Mow (79 Little Bridge Street) in Almonte, ON 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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